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France v's Ireland 3rd Feb 17.45 Paris

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    France v's Ireland 3rd Feb 17.45 Paris

    With only 2 European games left before the 6Nations are there many places up for grabs in the 23 for the first game. There are some tight calls to be made I think at LHP, wing and replacement O/H.

    Healy, Best, Furlong
    Toner, Henderson
    POM, SOB, CJ
    Murray, Sexton
    Earls, Bundee, Henshaw, Stockdale/Conway
    Kearney

    McGrath/Kilcoyne, Scannell, Ryan, Dillane, Leavy, Marmian, Byrne/Keatley, Conway/Stockdale/Larmour/Ringrose

    #2
    Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
    With only 2 European games left before the 6Nations are there many places up for grabs in the 23 for the first game. There are some tight calls to be made I think at LHP, wing and replacement O/H.

    Healy, Best, Furlong
    Toner, Henderson
    POM, SOB, CJ
    Murray, Sexton
    Earls, Bundee, Henshaw, Stockdale/Conway
    Kearney

    McGrath/Kilcoyne, Scannell, Ryan, Dillane, Leavy, Marmian, Byrne/Keatley, Conway/Stockdale/Larmour/Ringrose
    Knowing Joe's selection history and conservative bent, I think you are more or less on the button. I would like to see Kearney gone. His game is very one-dimensional now. The ball dies every time he has it. If Joe is unwilling to select Zebo (seems to be the case) I'd like to see a back three of Conway/Earls/Stockdale, but don't expect it. (Carbery/Larmour/B.Daly should be pushing hard too. Carbery likely to make the squad as cover for 10/15/midfield.)
    Erse end of nowhere

    Comment


      #3
      That's a very good attempt at predicting how Schmidt will select, but I think a couple of positions might be different.

      After Stockdale's poor recent performances (especially defensively), it'll be Conway to start at 14. You won't like this, but McFadden is an old Schmidt favourite and has been very good the last few weeks. Add McFadden's versatility in covering wing as well as 12 and 13 to Ringrose's iffy form since return from injury/new knock picked up against Ulster, and you get McFadden in the no.23 jersey. It's still too early for Schmidt to pick Larmour, although I and I'm sure many others would be tempted to do so.

      Kearney was surprisingly good when he featured in the Autumn Internationals with zero rugby minutes beforehand. Against Connacht, he was good under the high ball, and very strong in contact (bounced off prop Denis Coulson and always drove his legs for extra metres) but in terms of creative counter-attack, there was little on show. His defence is always a bit of a worry, but his positional sense and kicking are very good. I fall somewhere between the Joe Schmidt line (i.e Rob is undroppable) and the social media line (i.e Rob is useless). He is still a good player (used to be world class), but there are better options now - Conway, Larmour, Zebo when on form, Carbery, etc. Personally think the clamour about TOH specifically is unjustified as he's too inconsistent. But Joe will pick Kearney.

      Sub tighthead is an interesting one too. John Ryan's form hasn't been the best, while Stephen Archer has taken Ryan's starting place for Munster and done excellently, an unexpected resurgence if we're honest. Andrew Porter was incredible for Leinster against Ulster, showed dominant scrummaging and destructive carrying/tackling in the loose. And then Finlay Bealham (previously a Schmidt favourite and then dropped) has been playing very well again for Connacht. Bealham has really recaptured his 2015-16 - 2016-17 form after a lull at the start of this season. So the no.18 jersey could conceivably be any of them.

      The no.17 jersey is also a very tight one. Kilcoyne has justified being picked ahead of Jack McGrath for Ireland in November with his performances for Munster in the last few games, but McGrath is a test-match Lion and has looked like he's getting back to his best for Leinster in the last couple of games. Performances in the upcoming European Cup games will probably determine who gets the 17 jersey as back-up Healy.

      1.Healy 2.Best 3.Furlong

      4.Toner 5.Henderson

      6.POM 8.Stander 7.SOB

      9.Murray 10.Sexton 12.Aki 13.Henshaw 14.Conway

      11.Earls 15.R.Kearney

      16.N.Scannell 17.Kilcoyne/J.McGrath 18.John Ryan (because Joe is conservative) 19.Dillane (ahead of James Ryan based on huge displays recently) 20.Leavy (more versatile than Conan or VDF, and adds something different off the bench where Conan is more of a powerful carrier akin to Stander or SOB) 21.Marmion (could be Cooney, but that's too left-field for Schmidt) 22.Keatley (probably should be Ross Byrne) 23.McFadden
      Last edited by neliog93; 7th-January-2018, 03:07.

      Comment


        #4
        Let’s just hope Schmidt has a full roster after the Nigels cup games.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

        Comment


          #5
          I genuinely think we'll see very conservative selections this Six Nations. We're a real chance to win it and Schmidt did give out a few chances in Autumn. I'd love to see Larmour get some game time and maybe a few others get a chance to impress but it's unlikely to happen.

          One player who is doing absolutely everything in his power to get a start is Conway. He's been sensation for Munster. He seems to have everything that Joe likes in a player so he should really be in the 23.

          Another that seems to have pushed his way back into contention is Dillane. I think Toner and Henderson will start at second row however Ryan has a battle for the bench spot with Dillane and Dillane's experience and current form might see him win back a spot on the 23.

          Another player that is putting real pressure on is Leavy. The back row of O'Brien, Stander and O'Mahony is excellent and very difficult to break up however Leavy is doing absolutely everything in his powers to stake his claim. That's without even including Van Der Flier who is a Schmidt favourite and Conan.

          The back up scrum half position has changed from being an automatic selection for Marmion. Personally I think McGrath is a fantastic player and a more than able deputy to Murray. However Cooney must have given Schmidt some food for thought.

          The centres are in no way settled either (unless Ringrose injury is as serious as feared). If Ringrose is fit, you get the feeling that's it's Henshaw and one of either Ringrose or Aki. Really not sure which I prefer however I do really like Henshaw at 13 so that possibly means Aki gets the nod at 12. Absolutely fantastic problem to have and the back ups are nothing to be sneezed at (McCloskey, Farrell, Marshall, Scannell). Like the front row and back row, Ireland are blessed with talented centres.

          Comment


            #6
            I think Joe would pick Larmour for the squad if he was showing the same form coming in. And I think Stockdale will be in the squad and won't have his club form held against him after a couple of weeks in camp. He'll pick him if he's doing the business outside the nonsense in Ulster. Conway, I think, is nailed on for a starting spot against France, with Earls on the opposite wing. Alternatively, maybe Conway 15 with Earls and McFadden on the wings.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by whimpersnap View Post
              I think Joe would pick Larmour for the squad if he was showing the same form coming in. And I think Stockdale will be in the squad and won't have his club form held against him after a couple of weeks in camp. He'll pick him if he's doing the business outside the nonsense in Ulster. Conway, I think, is nailed on for a starting spot against France, with Earls on the opposite wing. Alternatively, maybe Conway 15 with Earls and McFadden on the wings.
              Fair calls. Would love to see Conway start as he's been exceptional.
              It's strange to think that 12 months ago I was worried due to the decline of Bowe and Trimble. In the last twelve months Stockdale, Larmour and Conway have all come on massively.

              Comment


                #8
                Surprised by the emerging talk of McFadden. He's playing well, but we've Stockdale, Larmour, Conway, Sweetnam, Wooton, O'Halloran emerging. We've Payne and Earls established and the evidently ongoing commitment to Kearney.


                It seems a strange time to resurrect the Test career of a 31 year old back three player who has never excelled at that level.


                Start Earls, Stockdale and Larmour with Conway benching in Paris and run the ******** off the French.
                "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                  Surprised by the emerging talk of McFadden. He's playing well, but we've Stockdale, Larmour, Conway, Sweetnam, Wooton, O'Halloran emerging. We've Payne and Earls established and the evidently ongoing commitment to Kearney.


                  It seems a strange time to resurrect the Test career of a 31 year old back three player who has never excelled at that level.


                  Start Earls, Stockdale and Larmour with Conway benching in Paris and run the ******** off the French.
                  In some ways I agree. In others I don't.

                  Payne doesn't seem to be in the mix.

                  Re: McFadden - if you're good enough then you should be in the squad. Personally i'd go with your selection but I wouldn't be writing anyone off.

                  Would love to see that back three you mentioned in the Six Nations.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kevin77 View Post
                    In some ways I agree. In others I don't.

                    Payne doesn't seem to be in the mix.

                    Re: McFadden - if you're good enough then you should be in the squad. Personally i'd go with your selection but I wouldn't be writing anyone off.

                    Would love to see that back three you mentioned in the Six Nations.

                    I know what you mean. And as I've said here many times, I'm not one for passing up 6 nations in the name of World Cup cycles or whatever.

                    But with so much talent coming through and in need of blooding...McFadden just seems a very conservative option. Almost every one of the young back three players I've mentioned potentially has a higher ceiling at test level than him, I think.

                    And that's not meant as a slight on him. If we were in the situation we were a couple of years back looking at Kearney, a fading Bowe etc you'd think, give him his run on merit.

                    It just feels like we're entering a period of real opportunity with back three players in Ireland right now. Handled right, we could have a world class back three with a depth of options for the next 5 or 6 years.

                    Handled wrong, and we'll become the test equivalent of the Great Ulster Centre Vortex of the last 5 years.
                    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                      I know what you mean. And as I've said here many times, I'm not one for passing up 6 nations in the name of World Cup cycles or whatever.

                      But with so much talent coming through and in need of blooding...McFadden just seems a very conservative option. Almost every one of the young back three players I've mentioned potentially has a higher ceiling at test level than him, I think.

                      And that's not meant as a slight on him. If we were in the situation we were a couple of years back looking at Kearney, a fading Bowe etc you'd think, give him his run on merit.

                      It just feels like we're entering a period of real opportunity with back three players in Ireland right now. Handled right, we could have a world class back three with a depth of options for the next 5 or 6 years.

                      Handled wrong, and we'll become the test equivalent of the Great Ulster Centre Vortex of the last 5 years.
                      Makes sense to me.

                      We have an unbelievably strong pack and half backs. If we can pick the right centre combination then we can afford to be a little brave out wide and pick some exciting options.

                      On paper we really have a hugely strong squad.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                        Surprised by the emerging talk of McFadden. He's playing well, but we've Stockdale, Larmour, Conway, Sweetnam, Wooton, O'Halloran emerging. We've Payne and Earls established and the evidently ongoing commitment to Kearney.


                        It seems a strange time to resurrect the Test career of a 31 year old back three player who has never excelled at that level.


                        Start Earls, Stockdale and Larmour with Conway benching in Paris and run the ******** off the French.
                        The only problem with that back 3 is the way Stockdale for example defended the last couple of games France will score a try every time they attack in our half.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is the best team in the land

                          Healy Scannell Furlong Hendo Ryan POM SOB CJ Murray Sexton Earls Henshaw Ringrose Stockdale Larmour.

                          Cronin McGrath Ryan Dillane Leavy McGrath Carberry Aki.

                          The team will not have Scanell Ryan Larmour Dillane in it.
                          \"Only Pienaar, Botha and Ferris would be in contention for a place on our first 15. That\'s a fact.\" - Tickettout\'s take on Ulster April 2011.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            People are reading too much into the Leinster match in which he was disgracefully bad in defence. Ulster are just a mess at the minute I can't imagine him being this bad in a functioning Irish backline in comparison to a misfunctioning Ulster backline.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Talking Sense View Post
                              This is the best team in the land

                              Healy Scannell Furlong Hendo Ryan POM SOB CJ Murray Sexton Earls Henshaw Ringrose Stockdale Larmour.

                              Cronin McGrath Ryan Dillane Leavy McGrath Carberry Aki.

                              The team will not have Scanell Ryan Larmour Dillane in it.
                              Ryan is injured and Ringrose isn't in good form

                              Comment

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